Poet and Essayist Lucy Grealy She died last month at the age of 39. As a child, Grealy spent five years being treated for cancer, which left her face disfigured. She had over 30 reconstructive procedures and years of living with a distorted self-image. She wrote Autobiography of a Face in 1994, her memoir about coming to terms with looking less than perfect in a society that values female beauty. No cause of death was announced, but friends indicated she was despondent of late. Her last book was As Seen on TV, published in 2000.